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PlantStudio Kurtz-Fernhout Software
Developers of custom software and educational simulations.
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Editing plant files outside the program

PlantStudio uses text-based plant files instead of binary files because text files are
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif More flexible in dealing with version changes,
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif More reliable in case of problems (you can edit the files),
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Less likely to become corrupted (and easier to fix if they are),
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Easier to send over the internet via email, and
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Easier to send to us for technical support questions.

We of course prefer that you edit plant files only using PlantStudio, but if for any reason you want to edit a plant file directly, follow these suggestions:
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Make sure your word processor doesn't add carriage-returns to lines if they are very long. This will make the file unreadable.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Don't change the square brackets around each plant's name (e.g., [daisy]) and don't put any spaces before the first square bracket.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif You can copy whole plants into other files; just make sure you get the whole plant (up to the next plant name). You can also use the plant mover for this.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Lines with a semicolon as the first character in the line are comments written by the program. New comments are lost when you save over the file, so you can't add any permanently.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif The first part of the line (the parameter name) is for your information only. PlantStudio doesn't read them, and it writes them out again when you save the file (so if you put in special things here, they won't be saved). Whatever you do, don't delete the whole name, because the program will think that the square bracket after the name is the start of a new plant.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif The second part of the line, in square brackets after the name, is very important -- it matches up with a text in the file to determine what parameter gets the value. Don't change these texts.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif After the equals sign is the value of the parameter. You can (carefully) change these values. If PlantStudio doesn't recognize a parameter when it is reading, or if the value is of the wrong type (real number instead of integer, for example), it will disregard the line without telling you and default the parameter. If you change any particular values, we suggest you look right away at the parameter value on your plant in PlantStudio to check that your new value was read correctly. You cannot change the value to a number outside the allowable bounds for the parameter; it will be bounded when the plant is read in. (To change bounds, see
Changing global parameter bounds and defaults.)
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif Entries for 3D objects MUST start and end with the words "start 3D object" and "end 3D object" or PlantStudio will choke. Plants must have a full complement of 3D objects, so if you delete one from the file the plant will just generate another default 3D object.
gif/plantstudio00090000.gif The lines "Base point x" and "Base point y" are the location of each plant in the drawing area relative to the global magnification and scrolling offset. If a plant disappears from the screen and you can't find it again, try setting these numbers to something simple like 100 and 100 and see if it returns to view. Though clicking the Scale to Fit button on the main window should fix this problem just as well.

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Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.